I think writing these days is even easier. With search engines such as Yahoo!, writers can do research in their homes, coffee shops, or even on the beach (if they have wifi). Writers don't have to trudge through books or take road trips to learn about other cultures or places. With the internet at our fingertips, we can discover all sorts of information without every leaving our homes or our pjs.
I've used the internet to research jerseys, exact sizing of ice rinks, hockey practice drills, even brain tumors and hospice care.
What have you researched on the internet for your writing, or are you a hands-on type of writer?